How is Lupus Contracted?
There are two types of lupus; discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It should be noted that no two cases of lupus are associated with the same signs and symptoms, as it is an individual disease based on both genetic and environmental factors. Most research studies point out that lupus is probably caused by a genetic factor that arises from certain environmental stimulations. These stimulations are listed below as risk factors that increase overall chances of developing lupus.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)
Discoid lupus erythematosus, also known as cutaneous lupus, is isolated to the skin. It is typically noted with a circular or butterfly shaped rash on the face or neck. It is possible for discoid lupus to develop into systemic lupus if left untreated. However, this number is limited and there is no accurate way to predict if the disease will develop from discoid to systemic.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is the more common condition and is more serious than discoid lupus erythematosus. Systemic lupus is capable of affecting any bodily system, but is most commonly associated with the lungs, skin, kidneys, joints, and blood. Typically, when people speak of lupus, they are referring to systemic lupus.
Lupus: Signs and Symptoms
Generally, lupus is associated with an array of signs and symptoms, but these are dependent upon the particular bodily systems afflicted with the condition. Again, signs and symptoms will vary based on individual factors.
- Chest Pain
- Dry Eyes
- Easily Bruising
- Joint Pain
- Memory Loss
- Mouth Sores
- Rash: Typically butterfly shaped, isolated to the face on the cheeks or nose.
- Raynaud's Phenomenon: Fingers turning blue or white during stressful periods or exposure to cold.
- Skin Lesions: These typically worsen with sun exposure.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
Lupus: Healthy Coping Methods
Lupus is currently not curable. However, there are certain treatment methods, both prescription and natural, available to decrease overall signs and symptoms of the condition. The following is a list of certain coping strategies that can be utilized.
- Education: Educate yourself about the condition of lupus. As you find information, write your questions, and seek answers from your physician at your next appointment. Do not be afraid to call your physicians office if you want your questions answered sooner.
- Support Network: Build a safety net that is a support network of people and activities. Friends and family should be informed as to the condition of lupus and its signs and symptoms. In this manner, if you need help or just someone to listen, you have an entire support network to lean on.
- Relax: Take time for yourself and learn to cope with stress or eliminate it as much as possible.
- Lupus Support Group: It is usually recommended that individuals with lupus meet occasionally to discuss the condition and all things associated with the disease. Sometimes it is nice to know that you are not alone in fighting the disease. This type of group can offer great support, as these individuals understand the disease, as they have it themselves.